So here we are in 2021 and the Coronavirus lockdown continues! The children had only just returned to school after a long Christmas break and after the first day, the announcement was made, and the lockdown was subsequently implemented across the United Kingdom. This has certainly been an incredible couple of years for the UK economy and for the British population in general. Events have been catastrophic in terms of the UK financial sector and personal finances have been deeply affected by the far-reaching implications of yet another pandemic lockdown.
The lockdown does however appear to have had less of an impact on the general traffic of the population. Indeed, a quick look outside of the office window at United Kingdom Loans, we can see that there is certainly more traffic than there was, all the way back in March 2020. It could be argued that this indicates that the economy has been stimulated both locally and nationally, as there is clear evidence of population movement throughout the United Kingdom’s towns and cities, despite the lockdown implemented by the UK Government. This could also indicate that there is less cooperation with the Government instructions to the position to remain indoors wherever possible, aside from exercise or shopping for essential items. Clearly key workers are allowed out of the family home and continue to keep the United Kingdom safe with their incredible dedication to their various roles across the country.
What has been the impact of Coronavirus?
So, what is the impact of the coronavirus on the economy of the United Kingdom and how will this affect personal finances? Here are United Kingdom Loans we have been keeping a close eye on the personal finance sector within the UK and have explored three key points in which money could potentially be saved during the lockdown period, which would ultimately help to improve personal finances during these difficult times.
Clearly for those people who are furloughed, this is an incredibly difficult period as there is uncertainty around return to employment dates, ongoing employment payment contributions and future work prospects. Advice for people who are furloughed is that communication needs to be maintained with the employer around employment status and employers have a duty to provide accurate information pertaining to potential return to work dates. This information is understandably at the hands of many employers and they continually look to the Government for ongoing advice and guidance around the furlough scheme and supporting employees.
During this period, many people who are furloughed have taken the opportunity to generate income using alternative methods. The coronavirus and subsequent furlough of many employees has therefore had an unexpected positive outcome for some people who are furloughed and who have taken the decision to generate additional income through a variety of channels. Although this is clearly a positive stride for those people who are unable to return to the workplace, the question around this in terms of personal finances would need to be, how sustainable are these additional income measures and, if a person was unable to return to work, would they be able to continue generating money through the methods they have implemented during the lockdown.
Alternative methods of generating additional income
While the furlough scheme is undoubtedly frustrating for most United Kingdom residents who are currently subject to the government implemented furlough scheme, this has created opportunities for some who are looking to bring additional finances into the household. Whilst many shops are closed, the online marketplace remains vibrant and buying and selling online continues to generate income for many people. It could therefore be argued that the current time is providing opportunities for people to go through items within the home and identify those things which are not needed or used. Some of the belongings in your home, which may go unused, could potentially generate a significant sum of money when added up. Post offices remain open and the internet continues to run for most British households – it could therefore be argued that there should be nothing stopping people who need to raise small sums of capital through selling items within the home using the various online marketplaces. Selling goods through Facebook marketplace is just one of the simplest ways in which to generate additional income. There are no fees associated with this and it is simply a case of taking a picture of the item you want to sell and then listing it on Facebook. Many people have made and indeed continue to make significant sums of money selling items within the family home using this method.
Saving money during the lockdown
It could be argued that there have been opportunities to save considerable sums of money during the lockdown period because people are not going out. Many residents of the United Kingdom have therefore saved money through not forking out for fuel costs of car, train tickets and other forms of transport which ordinarily would eat into the monthly budget. Coffees, expensive lunches and other non-essential items may have been bought daily and this would clearly add up to a significant sum of money. Many people now work from home due to the coronavirus restrictions and this has had far-reaching effects particularly for business owners who pre-Covid would have had significant sums of money to pay for extortionate business rates on an ongoing basis. This has however had an adverse effect on shops who ordinarily would have serviced office workers each day, pre-lockdown. In terms of money-saving though, national pandemic and subsequent lockdown has had an improvement on some United Kingdom residents’ households, since they are simply not spending the money they previously had been.
Childcare fees savings
Many people who have had the opportunity to work from home during the furlough period have saved money through not having to pay childcare or nursery fees. The lockdown period has given families the opportunity to spend more time together and has strengthened household’s unity. This has also had an unexpected outcome in terms of improving household personal finances through people who have children not having to pay some may argue, exorbitant childcare fees. Although working from home and having children at home during this time has had some complexities, particularly around home-schooling that is necessitated through the current pandemic, the fact remains that personal finances have been improved through not having to pay childcare fees. Working from home and having children is an incredibly complex operation to navigate in terms of personal finances the evidence is that money can be saved through not having to pay any other associated childcare costs.
Looking to the future in the UK
The coronavirus lock down has had a devastating impact upon UK financial economy, and it is hoped that the subsequent vaccination programme will be successful, and that people will be able to return to normal life, later in 2021. It is important to remember however that although personal finances may be impacted by the coronavirus, there are opportunities to save money and indeed make money during the current lock down period. United Kingdom Loans wishes everyone the best and moving through 2021 we hope that restrictions will be lifted and more opportunities around improving personal finances will be provided. Stay safe everybody!